Aziz, Grace, Kwaisi and John Doe
Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.”
Aziz is a moron and things like this happen to morons, especially morons of color. Aziz was clearly thinking as the dotard in the White House does, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” Clearly, Aziz does not know that consent is continuous and ongoing. It’s far more than. “she didn’t say no” as surprisingly (or maybe not) a lot of people seem to think.
Personally, I’d backhand Aziz on sight and maybe make him run me his watch for engaging in this kind of behavior; however, in situations like this I have to ask myself if I want to be right or if I want to win? People, including myself, often don’t want to hear that kind of rationale; however, as someone who is becoming very interested in chess, this is why most people are terrible at chess. Most don’t understand that pieces have to be sacrificed to take down the king.
Here, Grace’s feelings and physical boundaries are extremely important, but they are just on the pawn or rook level of this chess game. So what can be conceded is, if the goal of #metoo and #timesup is to educate the masses about men whose acts can be compared to say Jack The Ripper, having the same hashtags applied to guys who only give lacerations can cause the feeble minded to lose focus. Perhaps this explains the mindset of particularly the women who seem to be so critical of Grace as opposed to the internalized misogyny it seems like to me and many others.
Revolutionary movements, which is what #metoo and #timesup are, hinge on momentum. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Russell Simmons are examples of the kinds of powershots that built up unimaginable energy. People are talking about Grace, Aziz and “dating” far more than they should be within the context of those movements. While consent is probably the most important and necessary discussion to have which we should all be thanking Grace for, it’s being lost in a discussion of, “Whose side are you on?” While Grace is certainly on this road trip to sexual parity with those of us who want that, she’s not driving the car.
I began this piece with a quote from Kevin Spacey’s (the irony is not lost on me) character from Seven, the highly intelligent, highly skilled planner and strategist that allowed him to be a successful executioner. As an advocate and ally of both #metoo and #timesup, this is how we have to operate for success because people, both male and female, are looking for reasons to derail the movements.
But like John Doe in that movie, we will ultimately win even if the price some of us have to pay is severe. Whether you are Al Franken or Roy Moore, two ends of the spectrum of inappropriate behavior, being on that spectrum will not mean what it did before for both men and women. John Doe explains both how the sexual impropriety of men and the durability of these movements below to those who think Aziz, Grace or people like myself will derail or cause a backlash against them.
We tolerate it because it’s common, it’s trivial. We tolerate it morning, noon, and night. Well, not anymore. I’m setting the example. What I’ve done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed… forever.